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Matt Le Tissier

Matt Le Tissier is a former English attacking midfielder who was born in Guernsey on 14th October 1968. Le Tissier was a natural sportsman from an early age, competing in football, cricket and tennis amongst other sports. He broke school records in athletics for 75m, 55m hurdles and 6x10 shuttle runs. Le Tissier honed his soccer skills playing with his older brothers Mark, Kevin and Carl who were decent players in their own right. He also inherited a certain amount of skill from his father Marcus, who had trials with Arsenal. Le Tissier described Kevin as a better finisher than him. Carl was more like Matt, a creative player used in a deeper role. Kevin Le Tissier had trials with Middlesbrough, but a potential move to the North East was never likely because the club was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time. He was later offered a professional contract with Oxford, but turned the offer down because he didn't want to leave Gurnsey. Carl Le Tissier was also reluctant to leave home, rejecting an offer from Southampton. The youngest of the Le Tissier clan Matt was still determined to make it in the game however.

Le Tissier's parents took steps to ensure their son wouldn't suffer the same homesickness problems as his siblings by sending him away on school trips and residential soccer camps. At the age of 13 Le Tissier attended a soccer camp at Calshot Activity Centre near Southampton. He was named player of the week and rewarded with photographs of Kevin Keegan and Lawrie McMenemy. By then Le Tissier already knew he was head and shoulders above most of the other kids he was coming up against. He played in his school's Under-11 team at the age of 8. By 1983 Le Tissier was a regular for Guernsey's U15 side. He took part in the Muratti Cup Final against Jersey that year, in front of his boyhood team Tottenham. Spurs were due to play Guernsey's senior outfit in a friendly later in the day, with the likes of Ray Clemence, Ossie Ardiles and Le Tissier's footballing hero Glenn Hoddle watching on. Unfortunately the pressure must have got to Le Tissier. He missed a penalty, forcing the game into extra time (Guernsey would go on to win anyway).

At the age of 14 Le Tissier was offered a trial by Oxford. He did well under youth team coach Ray Graydon. Oxford wanted Le Tissier to relocate to the area, but after a few unhappy days at a new school he returned to Guernsey. Fortunately Le Tissier knew there was still interest from Southampton. Saints allowed him to finish his education in Guernsey before making a decision about an apprenticeship. At this time Le Tissier was banging in goals for fun at U17 and U18 level. He even featured at adult level for Vale Rec Reserves. Le Tissier was called up to an England U17 training camp, where he performed alongside the likes of Julian Dicks and Andy Hinchcliffe.

Le Tissier faced the prospect of missing his first two youth matches for Saints, due to a suspension picked up in Guernsey for persistent dissent. The ban was overturned on appeal, with Le Tissier warned to improve his behaviour. Unfortunately he took little notice of the advice. Le Tissier continually found himself in trouble with referees throughout his professional career. As an apprentice he received a weekly pay packet of £26, with a £4 win bonus, £2 draw bonus and £16 monthly bus allowance. Le Tissier blew a lot of that money on fruit machines. He also played snooker with future professional Warren King.

Le Tissier was hugely influenced by his youth team coach Dave Merrington, who pushed his charges hard in training. He scored his first goal as an apprentice in a 4-2 win over Reading, lining up alongside the likes of Francis Benali, Allen Tankard and Steve Davis. Le Tissier also surprisingly missed a spot kick in that game. He picked up consecutive South East Counties titles, but fell just short in the FA Youth Cup.

Le Tissier signed his first professional contract for £100 per week, rising to £120 in the second year. He made his first team debut in a friendly at Exeter on 8th August 1986. Le Tissier also appeared in a testimonial for Nick Holmes against Benfica at The Dell. His competitive bow came as a substitute in a 4-3 defeat at Norwich on 30th August 1986. The gifted youngster was deployed on the right hand side in his early years. On 2nd September 1986 he made his first start at The Dell in a 2-0 win over Tottenham. Le Tissier gave Spurs full back Mitchell Thomas a torrid time, and set up Danny Wallace for a decent opportunity which was squandered. Four days later he received another start against Forest, but didn't fare quite so well up against an intimidating Stuart Pearce. Le Tissier was mostly confined to the bench for the next few months. He scored his first two goals in a 4-1 League Cup thumping of Manchester United on 4th November 1986. Red Devils boss Ron Atkinson was sacked as a result, making way for a certain Alex Ferguson. Le Tissier opened his account in the league four days later in a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Starting opportunities were still proving to be scarce however. Manager Chris Nicholl believed he needed to develop physically. Le Tissier was nevertheless still very popular with the Saints supporters already. On 7th March 1987 he scored an incredible hatrick against Leicester in a 4-0 triumph. Le Tissier also notched up against Sheffield Wednesday and Watford before 1986/87 was up.

Le Tissier had a slightly disappointing 1987/88 season, netting just two cup goals against Bournemouth and Reading. He missed a number of matches through suspensions after receiving two red cards for the reserves. Le Tissier wasn't quite as spectacular as he was in the previous campaign, but still showed plenty of promise.

Le Tissier was much improved during 1988/89, as Saints shot to the top of the table with three consecutive wins in August. He kicked things off on the opening day with a goal in a 4-0 beating of West Ham. That was followed up by strikes against QPR and Arsenal. Le Tissier bagged doubles against Aston Villa and Newcastle, and also scored against Manchester United and QPR. Saints suffered a mid-season slump, but ultimately survived for another year of top flight football. Le Tissier was dropped by Nicholl at one point, because the Saints boss believed he wasn't the right kind of player to use in a relegation dog fight.

1989/90 was the season Le Tissier really established himself as a star. He crucially won a pre-season penalty competition, beating Neil Ruddock, Glenn Cockerill and Rod Wallace to become the club's spot kick specialist. Le Tissier netted 24 goals, helping Saints to a 7th place finish. He was part of Chris Nicholl's adventurous 4-2-4 formation, with a big emphasis on attacking football. It was a youthful side containing the likes of Rod Wallace, Alan Shearer and Tim Flowers. Le Tissier had to wait until 30th September 1989 for his first league goal of the campaign, but could barely stop scoring after that. He scored hatricks against Wimbledon and Norwich, and netted braces against Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday. The three goals against Norwich on 27th February 1990 were all top draw. Le Tissier created the first two with some fine bits of skill, before chipping Bryan Gunn from 30 yards for the third. He also starred in a special 4-1 win over eventual champions Liverpool on 21st October 1989. Le Tissier capped off a wonderful campaign by picking up the Barclays Young Eagle of the Year award as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

In 1990 Le Tissier received a call from his agent Jerome Anderson informing him that Tottenham were interested in signing him. He agreed to speak to his boyhood team. Spurs boss Terry Venables was absent from the negotiations, so a deal was thrashed out by the club's lawyers. Terms were agreed with Le Tissier before the 1989/90 season finished. Saints were unaware of the negotiations taking place, so a fee would have to be agreed during the summer before the deal went through. The move collapsed when Le Tissier's fiancée Cathy complained that she didn't want to move to London. Venables contacted Le Tissier in an effort to change his mind, but was unsuccessful. A few weeks later Le Tissier penned a new contract with Southampton. He would be paid £1,100 per week the first year, £1,200 in the second, and then £1,300 in the third. A couple of years later Le Tissier received an offer from Graeme Souness's Liverpool, but flat out refused to even entertain a move to Merseyside.

Le Tissier kicked off 1990/91 with a goal in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. He never went more than a few games without finding the net. It was a difficult season for Saints, who finished 14th, which was enough for the board to lose patience in Chris Nicholl who was sacked. Le Tissier seemed unaffected however, and not for the last time, pretty much single-handedly kept the club's head above water. He scored 23 goals in all competitions. He grabbed two against Spurs, the club he nearly signed for on 29th December 1990. A short time later he netted a further double on Luton's notoriously tough plastic pitch. Le Tissier also scored in big wins against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Ian Branfoot was appointed Saints new boss prior to the 1991/92 season. He was unpopular with the fans from pretty much day one and his style of football was hardly ideal for Le Tissier. Branfoot played a very rigid 4-4-2 formation with an emphasis on long ball football. Le Tissier was stuck out on the wing with balls being pumped into the channels. Although he still played fairly well at times, Le Tissier was a lot less prolific. He wasn't given much freedom to weave his magic, and as a result only scored six league goals that season. He did perform a lot better in cup competition however. Le Tissier scored in every round of the Zenith Data Systems Cup, including the 29th March 1992 final defeat to Nottingham Forest at Wembley. He also helped Saints to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Le Tissier hadn't even been needed in the penalty shootout win at Manchester United on 5th February 1992. Ryan Giggs missed United's decisive spot kick before Le Tissier even had a chance to take his. He didn't cover himself in glory in the FA Cup quarter-final replay with Norwich on 18th March 1992 however. Le Tissier was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Robert Fleck.

Branfoot's standing with the fans barely improved during 1992/93. Fortunately Le Tissier's form disguised many other shortcomings in the team. He opened his account for the season in a 3-1 defeat at QPR on 19th August 1992. Le Tissier blasted in a powerful effort in a Monday night televised game with Blackburn on 22nd November 1992. He scored twice in a 4-3 win over Ipswich on 13th March, and gave Oldham a real scare on the final day of the season, scoring a hatrick in a 4-3 reverse on 8th May. It wasn’t all smiles for Le Tissier during 1992/93 however. On 24th March he missed a penalty in a 2-1 defeat to bottom club Nottingham Forest. It was the only time he ever failed to find the net from the spot in a competitive game. He would go on to score an impressive 47 from 48 games. Le Tissier made up for the Forest penalty miss somewhat later in the same game when he blasted in a left footed volley.

Although Le Tissier still wasn't enjoying his football under Branfoot he got on fairly well with his manager on a personal basis. The same couldn't be said of the fans, who stepped up their protests against him during 1993/94. Saints didn't pick up their first set of points until the fourth game, when Le Tissier scored twice in a 5-1 thrashing of Swindon. A few weeks later he was incredibly dropped by Branfoot for the useless Paul Moody. To say the decision didn't go down well with the fans would be an understatement. Le Tissier was brought back into the starting line up on 24th October for the televised clash with Newcastle at the Dell. The game was firmly in the balance coming up to the hour mark when Branfoot sent Moody to warm up, possibly with a view to replacing Le Tissier. Then something magical happened. Le Tissier flicked Iain Dowie's knockdown forward with the back of his heel, before skipping past Barry Venison. He then dinked the ball over Kevin Scott before calmly slotting in the back of the net. Newcastle's Andy Cole would equalise shortly after with a header and the game looked to be heading for a stalemate. That was until the 88th minute when Le Tissier controlled Neil Maddison's cushioned header on his thigh, before volleying into the top corner.

Le Tissier was hardly content to relax after the Newcastle game. A week later he scored twice in a 4-2 defeat at Liverpool. He produced a sublime piece of skill to beat former Saint Mark Wright, before scoring his first that afternoon. His performance was so impressive that he received a standing ovation from the Anfield fans. On 24th November 1993 he scored twice in a rare away win at Villa. In what many described as a last ditch attempt by Ian Branfoot to save his job Le Tissier was made captain in December 1993 prior to a loss at Everton. It wasn't enough to appease fans however. Branfoot was sacked in January 1994 after an FA Cup defeat to Port Vale.

Le Tissier felt a weight lifted off his shoulder following Branfoot's departure, responding by scoring a penalty in a 1-0 win over Coventry under caretaker bosses Lew Chatterley and Dave Merrington. When Alan Ball was appointed a few days later Le Tissier really came into his own. Ball brought back a passing style of football and gave Le Tissier a free role in the middle of the park. The rest of the team was instructed to give the ball to the Saints number seven and he would do the rest. In Ball's first game in charge Le Tissier scored a late free kick to give Saints a priceless three points at Newcastle. He scored again in the next match at Oldham which Ball's side lost 2-1. On 14th February 1994 Le Tissier smashed a shot past Bruce Grobbelaar to give Saints a 28 second lead against Liverpool. He would go on to net a further two that night in a 4-2 win in the snow. Le Tissier scored another spectacular goal in his next outing. He helped Saints to a 1-0 win over Wimbledon on 26th February by flicking up the ball from a free kick before lobbing the ball over the wall and the keeper. Just as it looked as if Saints were getting themselves out of trouble, they then suffered a poor run of form. Le Tissier helped drag the club away from danger again by scoring a hatrick at Norwich on 9th April 1994. He also provided the cross for Ken Monkou's winner in the same game. Saints then made light work of title challengers Blackburn at the Dell, winning 3-1. Le Tissier put a penalty past his old mate Tim Flowers. He finished 1993/94 with two goals against Aston Villa and another two in the 3-3 final day draw with West Ham at Upton Park. It was enough to keep Saints in the Premier League. Ball's decision to build the team around Le Tissier had been vindicated. He had single-handedly kept Saints up and was deservedly named Player of the Season.

Le Tissier's form had not gone unnoticed by new England manager Terry Venables, who handed him his first cap on March 9th 1994. Le Tissier came on as a 67th minute sub in a 1-0 win over Denmark. He won further caps against Greece and Norway in May 1994, but once again didn't really have enough time to impose himself on the game. He played a full 90 minutes against Romania on October 12th 1994, and made a cameo appearance against Nigeria on November 16th 1994. He made a decent start against Republic of Ireland on February 15th 1995 before the game was abandoned due to crowd trouble. After that game he dropped out of England reckoning, and wouldn't play another game under Venables.

Le Tissier continued to thrive under the guidance of Alan Ball during 1994/95. His 30 yard screamer which won Saints a late point at Villa in the second game was a sign of things to come. On 12th September he scored twice in a 2-1 win at Tottenham in front of the Sky cameras. The goals continued the flow throughout the season. On 10th December 1994 Le Tissier scored twice in a 3-2 defeat at Blackburn. His second that day was his personal favourite, and won the vote for BBC goal of the season. Le Tissier picked the ball up just inside the Blackburn half, brought it forward before twisting and turning past Tim Sherwood to make room for the shot. He then fired into the top corner. Even the home fans at Ewood Park applauded. A week later Le Tissier helped Saints to three points against Aston Villa with a last minute free kick. He was special throughout 1994/95, but his form at the end of the campaign was particularly impressive. Just when Saints looked to be heading towards another relegation scrap Le Tissier helped lift the team towards a respectable 10th place finish. On 2nd April 1995 he scored twice in a 4-3 win over Spurs. Le Tissier also netted in wins against Chelsea, Wimbledon and Crystal Palace. He scored 30 goals in all competitions that season.

On 17th April 1995 Le Tissier was involved in a betting scam in a game against Wimbledon. He stood to earn a significant amount of money for kicking the ball out for a throw in during the first few seconds of the game. Things didn't go according to plan however. Le Tissier attempted to put the ball out straight from kick-off, but his pass was kept in play by Neil Shipperly who was unaware the bet. Under spread betting rules Le Tissier stood to lose a large sum of money if the ball stayed in play for more than 75 seconds. It eventually went out on 70 seconds which was 'neutral time', meaning nobody won or lost any cash.

Le Tissier's mentor Alan Ball left the club for Manchester City in the summer of 1995. His game suffered as a result. Le Tissier only scored 7 league goals under new manager Dave Merrington. He started the season well enough, netting a hatrick in a 4-3 opening day defeat to Nottingham Forest. Le Tissier received a frosty reception prior to a League Cup clash with Cardiff in September. At that point he was still eligible to play for Wales despite the fact he had been capped by England. Because he came from the Channel Islands he was able to switch his allegiance. Wales boss Bobby Gould declared an interest, but Le Tissier flat out turned him down. He responded to the abuse from Cardiff fans by scoring twice.

Le Tissier struggled in front of goal in the league, but performed much better in the FA Cup. He helped Saints to a famous 3-0 win over rivals Portsmouth on 7th January 1996. Le Tissier set up Jim Magilton and Neil Shipperly for the 2nd and 3rd goals. Saints would go on to reach the quarter-finals where they were knocked out by Manchester United.

Le Tissier would have to wait until April before scoring his first league goal from open play during 1995/96. The goal came in the infamous 'grey shirts' game against Man United, which Saints won 3-1. He also scored vital winners against Blackburn and Bolton in the same month to keep the club up by the skin of their teeth.

On 1st September 1996 Le Tissier received his first competitive international cap, appearing as a late substitute in a World Cup qualifier in Moldova. He would go on to win his 8th and final cap on 12th February 1997, a 1-0 home defeat to Italy. Le Tissier was harshly blamed by sections of the media for his performance that day. He was berated by Glenn Hoddle, who accused his brother of leaking the team, even though it was actually another player who had been dropped who had gone to the press.

Back on the domestic front Le Tissier continued to shine for Southampton in 1996/97 under new chief Graeme Souness. He netted 16 goals from 38 games in all competitions. He began the season with a goal in a 2-1 defeat to newly promoted Leicester. He then scored in a 2-2 draw with Forest, but entered his best run of form after scoring a brace against Middlesbrough on 28th September. He got himself on the scoresheet 6 times in 5 outings. One of those goals was an absolute piledriver away at Coventry. Then on 26th October 1996 he put in a stunning showing in the 6-3 beating of Manchester United. He famously lobbed Peter Schmeichel from just outside the box.

Le Tissier fell out with Souness later in the season when the former Liverpool star publicly humiliated him by asking his teammates whether he did enough for the team. When they replied 'no' Le Tissier's confidence took a dip. He was dropped later in the season, because Souness didn't want two 'luxury players' in the team with Eyal Berkovic around too. He also went through some difficulties in his personal life, breaking up with his wife Cathy. Le Tissier still had his moments on the pitch. He smashed in a powerful last minute equaliser against Newcastle on 18th January, and then scored the winner against the same opponents in March. He scored in the 2-0 win against Blackburn in the penultimate clash of the season which was enough to keep Saints up for another season.

In July 1997 Le Tissier signed a new contract with the club. He would receive £3,450 per week in the first year, £3,700 in the second, £3,950 in the third and £3,450 in the fourth.

Le Tissier enjoyed his last really good season in 1997/98. Saints had yet another new boss in charge for the start of the campaign with Dave Jones signing from Stockport. Unfortunately Le Tissier suffered a setback in pre-season when he broke his arm. He returned on 20th September for the 1-1 draw with Liverpool. 10 days later Le Tissier scored two crackers in a League Cup tie at Brentford. His next goal came in the same competition against Barnsley. Le Tissier flicked the ball over Tykes defender Arjan de Zeeuw before hitting a sweet 25 yard volley. His first in the league came on 2nd November in a 2-0 Super Sunday win at Everton. On 13th December Le Tissier opened the scoring in a game against Leicester, before setting up Francis Benali for his first ever goal. He ended the campaign in fine form, with 7 goals from his last 9 games. They included another against Everton and the obligatory goal against Newcastle.

Le Tissier's late season form put him in contention for England. He played in a B team game against Russia at Loftus Road in May 1998 and couldn't have performed much better. Le Tissier scored a hatrick and looked a cut above in a 4-1 win. It wasn't enough for Glenn Hoddle however, who still omitted him from the World Cup Squad. Had Le Tissier been on the pitch for the 2nd round match against Argentina England would have almost certainly gone through on penalties.

Saints made a dreadful start to the 1998/99 Premier League campaign. The club lost their first five matches, and only picked up two points from the opening nine fixtures. Le Tissier rescued the first point on 19th September with an equaliser against Tottenham. He inspired the club to their first league win of the season against Coventry on 24th October, scoring in a game that nearly got called off due to heavy rain. Le Tissier scored a typically superb goal against top of the table Aston Villa on 14th November, but it wasn't enough for Saints who lost 4-1. The club were still in deep relegation trouble in December 1998, but saved themselves with a great second half of the campaign. Le Tissier wasn't quite as influential as he had been in previous seasons, but still played his part. On 20th March 1999 he scored the only goal of the game against Sheffield Wednesday at The Dell. He also scored straight from a corner in the penultimate match of the season at Wimbledon on 8th May 1999.

Le Tissier's form and fitness went into decline during 1999/2000. For the first time in over 10 years the club was learning to be less reliant on Le Tissier, who was ballooning in weight. He still showed the odd bit of magic however. On 25th September 1999 he helped Saints to an unlikely 3-3 draw at Old Trafford with two goals. His first that day was a weak shot that somehow slipped through the grasp of United keeper Massimo Taibi. His only other goal that season was a penalty in a defeat to Sunderland on 1st April. Le Tissier suffered a series of injuries throughout the year, and didn't really see eye to eye with Glenn Hoddle who became manager in early 2000. He later said in his autobiography he believed Hoddle had a deep rooted jealously of him, and was tired of the comparisons between the two. Hoddle was often hard of Le Tissier in training and blamed him for a few bad results on the pitch.

Le Tissier barely featured under Hoddle during 2000/01 and made little impact the few times he did. He scored against Mansfield in the League Cup in September, but was usually unused in league matches. When Hoddle left the club in March 2001 Le Tissier made a few appearances from the bench under new boss Stuart Gray. He came on as a substitute in the final competitive match at The Dell on 19th May 2001. Saints and Arsenal were tied at 2-2 going into stoppage time before Le Tissier hit an unstoppable left footed volley into the top corner. It was a fitting end to football at The Dell. The greatest ever player to set foot on the pitch scoring the final goal.

Le Tissier was more out of shape than ever during 2001/02, so it was no surprise to see him call it quits at the end of the campaign. He contributed nothing of note in his five appearances. Gordon Strachan's heavy fitness regime was hardly ideal for Le Tissier. He played what turned out to be his final competitive Southampton game on 30th January 2002, as a late substitute in a 2-0 win over West Ham at St Marys. He was due to make a cameo appearance on May 11th 2002 against Newcastle, but when Tahar El Khalej was sent off for a rash challenge on Kieron Dyer, Strachan was forced to rethink his plans.

On 14th May 2002 Le Tissier bowed out with a well-deserved testimonial. The light hearted match took place between a Southampton eleven and England eleven. The Saints side was a mixture of current first team players, former players and family members. Le Tissier's brothers Carl and Kevin were in the starting line-up, while Mark Le Tissier refereed. The England side included the likes of Alan Shearer, Stuart Pearce, Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright, Peter Beardsley, John Barnes and David Batty. Alan Ball and Lawrie McMenemy took charge of the teams, while Mike Channon made a surprise appearance. The first half was paid at half pace, but still slightly competitive. The second half descended into a comedy match, which was perfectly acceptable for such an occasion. The game ended 9-9, with a multitude of different scorers including Ronnie Ekelund who made a welcome return to the City. Le Tissier’s son Mitchell scored a hatrick and a ballboy who was invited on the pitch by an exhausted Kevin Keegan also found the net. At full time a montage of all Le Tissier's goals played on the St Marys screen with Chesney Hawkes' 'I am the one and only' and Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' playing in a background. When Le Tissier delivered a thank you speech to the fans and his family there was barely a dry eye among the sell-out crowd.

Le Tissier turned out for local side Eastleigh on a couple of occasions after leaving Southampton. He also took part in Sky 1's reality show 'The Match' where a team of ex pros took on celebrities in a game of football. Le Tissier wore a Pompey shirt for Steve Claridge's testimonial. After scoring a penalty he lifted it up to reveal a Saints shirt underneath with 'Scummer' written on the back.

Not long after hanging up his boots Le Tissier started work for Sky, predominately on the 'Soccer Saturday' show with Jeff Stelling. He also appeared on Countdown in 'dictionary corner' on a few occasions in 2009.

Le Tissier's outstanding achievements for Southampton have not gone unnoticed. He was awarded Freedom of the City and also had a pub and plane named after him

In the summer of 2009 Le Tissier became the front man for the Pinnacle group, who announced their intentions to purchase the cash strapped club. A lot of big promises were hinted at, and when pictures of Le Tissier meeting with Kevin Keegan were leaked fans became very excited. Le Tissier was prepared to give up his high paying job at Sky to become Chairman if the deal went through. As the weeks went by without any progress doubts started to emerge. When Pinnacle's supposed money man Michael Fialka appeared on Sky Sports News outlining his plans, fans dreams were shattered. A quick bit of digging found that Fialka was a letting agent who still lived with his parents and had nowhere near enough money to buy the club. The Pinnacle group collapsed soon after, with Le Tissier using the 10 point deduction imposed on the club as an excuse to pull out. Markus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese purchased the club shortly after.

Ever since the takeover battle there has been a certain degree of ill feeling between Le Tissier and Cortese. The former Saints star attempted to buy 10 tickets for the 2011 FA Cup tie against Man United but was knocked back by the club, who said he couldn't purchase so many. He then requested 7, and then 3, but didn't hear anything back. Le Tissier claims the decision not to provide him with tickets was due to the bad blood that exists between him and Cortese. The club denied this and insisted it was a mix up. Saints claim the employee who was dealing with Le Tissier was helping to tie up the transfer of Guly Do Prado at the time. Both parties continued their war of words after the incident.

In 2010 Spanish and Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez declared his admiration for Le Tissier. Xavi said he loved watching English football as a kid and in particular Le Tissier. "His talent was simply out of the norm. He could simply dribble past seven or eight players but without speed- he just walked past them. For me he was sensational."

Away from football Le Tissier has been involved in a few disastrous business ventures down the years. In the mid-nineteen nighties he opened a nightclub called Celebration Plaza with Mike Osman, which was a total failure and cost the pair over £100,000.

Le Tissier married for the second time in 2008 to his long term partner Angela Nabulsi. The couple have a daughter Ava. Le Tissier had two children from his previous marriage, Mitchell and Keeleigh. He still watches Saints whenever his work schedule allows him, and spends a lot of his spare time playing golf or working the after dinner circuit.

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